Friday, September 23, 2005

PodCast test

Updated 10/1/05 with an introduction in English.

This post is a test, trying out the new podcasting feature on this blog. To try things out, I have put in a link to an audio file of a speech I gave at Yaum-e-Sahir an event celebrating the Urdu poet and Bollywood lyricist, Sahir Ludhianvi.

For now, the audio file is here. Apologies to non-Urdu a -Hindi speaking readers, but the file is in Urdu for now. I intent to add an audio commentary in English to the file as soon as I can. It will also give me a chance to try out a new hosting option.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Installing Urdu" on Windows XP

I have made a lot of noise along the way about blogging in Urdu and I promised instructions on how to install Urdu as a language that your Windows XP machine can handle. Here are the instructions, from the website of the Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing in Pakistan:

Once you have followed those instructions, you can use Urdu not just for blogging, but for pretty much anything you now use English and the English script for on your computer. And as I have said before, no, it is not the same as using InPage or some other editor to write Urdu, but using Urdu all the time. With the InPage solution (which is wonderful for "kitaabath" and page layout), what you have to do is convert your text in to a graphic and put it on your website or page, etc. But with this procedure, you can actually write directly in your HTML file, or Word document--or even while chatting with people over Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger or other IM client!

First published on Urdu ke Naam

Monday, September 19, 2005

Urdu Technical Blog

At this point there are now more than one blog from Pakistan on technical issues. And at least a few devoted to Urdu on the Internet. (See this previous post, and this one.) I have been invited to join a new blog in Urdu about technical topics. It's at:

Please check in once in a while to see what's happening.

Update on "The War Within" (Movie)

Last night, I'd mentioned a movie that came to my notice. (See ) One of the Executive Producers has responded to that entry. See "Comments" on that page.

The War Within

Just saw this movie preview on iFilm. Is it very new, or is it a "sleeper" (excuse the pun) that hasn't gotten much play:

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Katrina, Muslims, Pakistanis, and the like

I haven't been slow posting again. But this time I have a better excuse:

I am a founder/co-founder of a couple of Web database projects and have created pages relating to Katrina and the Muslim and Pakistani communities respectively. (Of course, there's a lot of overlap.)

If you know of things happening around the world, where you are, etc. please send me web links and other material that should be included on those pages. In the latter case, you can just click on the "Edit" link at the top of the page and enter/edit information directly.

By way of information, WikiPakistan is a relatively new Information Database about Pakistan, Pakistanis and the diaspora. The site is at and background information can be seen at . It is an open database that anyone can edit and is developed under a Free Document License. Contributors are encouraged to click on the "Create an account or log in" link in the top righthand corner of every page and created an account. You do not need to provide any personal information.

The Human Rights Project at ProgressiveIslam.Org is is a "wiki" devoted to documenting human rights issues within the Muslim community world-wide. More information is at

Monday, September 05, 2005

Taking Offence

A snippet from something I posted on a list a while back:

"If I am going to to be offended as a Muslim, I am offended by both people who equate the word "Shariah" (or Islam, or Fiqh, or Hadith, or ... or "socialism", or "Hindu", or...) with the worst
mis-use and abuse of the concept as I am by people who equate their own particular interpretation of such a concept with the wider concept (like W's use of the words "Liberty", and "Freedom" and ...and that's being charitable to him).

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pakistan and Israel

More detailed comments later, but one thing that non-Urdu speaking readers and journalists, in particular, might be interested to know. Not really earth-shaking or anything. Just a thought.

The statement, refrain, one could say, from the Pakistani side is that "this is not official 'recognition' of Israel by Pakistan ..." That is well and good; the word "recognition" has a certain commonly understood meaning in English, especially the way it is used in describing diplomatic goings-on. However, when you listen closely to the news, views, interviews, translations and discussion in Pakistan's native language, Urdu, a whole other depth of meaning and complexity is just below the surface. (I recently subscribed to podcasts of news bulletins from Geo TV, a private Pakistani satellite channel.) The word used is "thasleem karna", which is closer in meaning to "acceptance", than it is to "recognizing". And one wonders where the discussion of official diplomatic recognition ends and where the issue of acceptance of the existence of the State of Israel starts...

But more on that later. Just thought readers might appreciate the perspective.

The Youth of Pakistan

Someone on a mailing list I am on announced an organization for Pakistani Youth. I meant to congratulate and encourage them, but the following spilled out from my keyboard. It comes from the dark side of the old psyche, but bears repeating, I guess:

It is commendable for Youth to help themselves by creating institutions what will help them learn, grow, and engage with society and the wider world. I currently make my living as a technical writer based in Silicon Valley, but I started my career as editor of The Teenager, Pakistan, in 1987, during General Ziaul Haq's time. This was just about the time the last working dance floor in Karachi shut down; it was before satellite, and MTV and even the modern rock of Vital Signs and the neo-Sufi rock of Junoon; before MBA's and BBA's broke the back of the "Engineer-Doctor" career obsession in society; before offshoring and outsourcing brought jobs that paid decent salaries to young folk. The word that one most often heard in relation to the Youth of Pakistan, was "Frustration". Even now, some days I am reminded of the French philosopher that said "Energy restricted is energy perverted" and feel it is not an exaggeration to say that we Pakistanis, and the rest of the world with us, are reaping the whirlwind we sowed by putting the energy and life of a generation of young people in a vise; leaving them without any positive, constructive outlets for their youthful energy.

So bless you for starting an organization for the Youth of Pakistan.